Monday, May 24, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Another helpful gem from Richard Rohr...
Question of the Day: How do I define awareness?
Religious teachers, including Jesus, the Buddha, and many Hindu sages, are always telling us wake up—to be alert, alive, awake, attentive, or aware. But what does this really mean?
Being conscious or aware means:
• I drop to a level deeper than the passing show.
• I become the calm seer of my dramas from that level.
• I watch myself compassionately from a little distance, almost as if the “myself” is someone else—a “corpse” as St. Francis put it.
• I dis-identify with my own emotional noise, and no longer let it pull me here and there, up and down.
• I stop thinking about this or that and “collapse into” pure consciousness of nothing in particular. You don’t get there, you fall there.
At first, it does not feel like “me,” and is even unfamiliar territory, because up to now I thought my thinking was “me,” yet now my thinking has ceased. This is the accurate meaning of Jesus’ teaching on “losing oneself to find oneself” in Luke 9:24.
From "The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See", p.135 Richard Rohr
Monday, May 17, 2010
I don't know about you, but I seem hardwired to be judgmental. Have I made any progress? Uhhhhh, who knows? I'm aware of it. I guess that’s moving in the right direction. Richard Rohr has written another amazing book called "The Naked Now" in which he addresses this problem and encourages us all, with God's help, to become "non-dualistic” thinkers. In other words stop thinking about who’s in and who’s out, who’s got it right and who’s got it wrong. Here's an excerpt from one of his talks...
“All spiritual teachers tell us “DO NOT JUDGE.” For those of us raised in a religious setting, this is very difficult. In a strange way, religion gave us all a Ph.D. in judgmentalism. It trained us very early in life to categorize, label, and critique. It told us all about worthiness and unworthiness. This judgmental mind told us what is right and wrong, who is gay or straight, and who is good or bad. This sort of mind never creates great people, because everybody has to fit into our way of thinking. At an early age our grid was complete. We had decided who fit in and who did not fit in. We fashioned our own little world.
“Christianity that divides the world in this manner and eliminates all troublesome people and all ideas different from our way of thinking cannot be mature religion. It cannot see the multiple gifts of each moment, nor the dark side that coexists with it. This mind does not lead us to awareness, and above all, this mind will find it impossible to contemplate. To practice awareness means you live in a spirit of communion; your world becomes alive and very spacious, and not divided by mere mental labels.”